New Owners of Community Centre

by Catherine Smyth Media

FOUR friends are determined to woo people back to a community hall having taken on Rossendale’s largest venue.

One of the first moves by Jim and Jane Doidge, Ken Brown and Pauline Clawson will be to rename the former council-owned Bacup Leisure Hall on Burnley Road that has been known as Bacup Hub for the last few years.

All four have been friends for years and used to run pubs in the Bacup, Stacksteads and Waterfoot areas and wanted to open a venue where they could hold cabaret nights.

Ken, 59, said: “We were out in the Royal Oak one night and Jim said he had found the ideal location. We have now taken on the lease with a view to purchasing the building.

“We have changed the name to Broadwater Hall, because we want to reflect that the River Irwell’s source is here and it also links with the centre’s location in Bacup.

“We are contacting former users of the centre to ask them to come back and look to use the venue again and we want new customers to come and have a look and see what we can offer.

“We already have Fearns Community Sports College using the centre in July for the school’s awards evening and a school dance competition will be based here.”

Ken also wants local businesses to think about holding their Christmas parties in the centre.

Transport company owner Jim, 60, said: “We need to turn this place around and it is about providing something for the whole community. The place has to turn over a profit, but not to the detriment of the people of Rossendale.

“A lot of money has been invested here and we need to look onwards and upwards and make this the focus for community events.”

The friends are planning regular Saturday entertainment nights whether that is cabaret, private functions or sporting events.

Jungle Mania, the children’s indoor play facility will stay and be open seven-days a week along with arcade games. Roller skating sessions will also return.

They are also hoping to work with the youth and community service to see if events can be put on for older teens.

Senior citizens have been invited to attend for afternoon tea and the previously popular tea dances will be reinstated.

The friends are determined to secure the future of the building as a resource for the community to use for many years to come.

The café is already open for business and in an evening it will become a bar.

A grand re-opening event will be held on Thursday June 18 when entertainment will be provided by John Grogan, Jade Lea – who has reached the final of Mecca’s Search for a Star – and Bacup’s own ‘Brian Potter’. This Saturday vocalist Lee Gibbons will be entertaining from 8pm.

To inquire about future events or booking the venue contact Ken on 07835 711470.

Plans to convert the building into apartments and a shop have now been quashed.

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